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March 05, 2011


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Rule #6 - Keep an eye on advancing technology.

Two or three years ago, I saw the writing on the wall with regards to streaming video. I saw that with Netflix and other services, eventually you would be able to watch any movie ever produced at any time you wanted for a small fee. Yet I continued to purchase DVD and then Blu-ray disks.

I'm not making the same mistake with books. For the most part, I've stopped buying physical books. Yes, for some types of books, e-readers are still not up to snuff, but they're going to quickly get faster, larger, and have better resolution.

We're almost to the point that I dreamed of as a teenager - to be able to access all of human knowledge; books, movies, music; instantly, from anywhere.

"We're almost to the point that I dreamed of as a teenager - to be able to access all of human knowledge; books, movies, music; instantly, from anywhere."

But where are the flying cars?

"But where are the flying cars?"

Back to the Future II was set in 2015. We have four years to go before we're officially disappointed.

All good tips, no doubt - though one must be careful of #5. Sometimes we do need to deny ourselves, especially for things we want. Not needs, of course. Rather, things we don't need but really want. Maybe some of those are rewards, or things we can strive for - but savings comes first.

I too need to do a better job of negotiating. It's not quite in our culture here in the US to bargain, and I admit that prefer the standard one-price model. But the mindset of negotiating can be very helpful, no doubt.

#5 is my problem. You might call me an oversaver and I'm bad about refusing to spend money even though I am comfortable financially. I'm fighting a constant battle with myself to make sure I spend money now in ways that I may not have the desire (or health) to do when I am older.

I've paced myself for early retirement (by 50 or 55) and that is great. But what if I don't even live that long? I am trying to get myself to REDUCE my savings rate a little and focus more on the now. I don't recommend that to most people (who already live too much in the now) but with a savings rate of 35-40% I think I'll be okay if I take a vacation now and then.

I agree with your retro comment. Some things are just timeless.

I struggle with negotiation, though am getting better with it as I get older. Don't care as much about what people "think"...

@RBK: you need a budget. A spending budget.

I'm the same case. It's easy to overdo it (saving). Once you crack the code and get very good at optimizing big ticket costs, it becomes a competitive game, and one you want to win, as if it concerned football or poker, so you start to optimize the small stuff as well. That's not really a good idea, because soon you're debating and thus ruining every single little expense/pleasure. My solution for that is a category in my budget that says I should spend X on fun, X being relatively generous compared to my other budget items.

OK on the cars, but where the heck is my jet pack?

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